with the whole Church and with those who seek the transformation of the world

Oct 1, 2019 | TCM2019

Peace is Possible if We Build it Together

Peacebuilding is an interesting area for collaboration and for the transformation of the world! Building peace alone is only a utopia, but it can be realized collectively with others. I have experienced just that in my learning experiences and involvement nationally, in Sri Lanka, and elsewhere in other parts of the world.

I have seen and experienced the effectiveness of collective efforts at building a peace-loving citizenry and peace-promoting society. I have had this experience in Sri Lanka (National Peace Council, Alliance of Justice, and National Intellectuals’ Organization), South Africa (Healing of Memories Institute), the Philippines (Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute and other grassroots peacebuilding groups in Mindanao region), and in Kenya (Shalom Institute and a plethora of other organizations). It is wonderful to network and learn from them all.

In Sri Lanka, my collaboration with the Healing of Memories Institute and other academic, civil society, NGO, ecumenical, interreligious groups have been an enriching experience. We are not changing the world overnight! Through our small efforts we try to heal the wounds of war, help people to celebrate diversity as a gift, and invite them to be peace-loving citizens by seeking justice justly, by forgiving magnanimously, and by seeking reconciliation ardently with the ethnic and religious other.

Being with other learners, activists, and survivors, and working with them, has been a great chance to learn the art of building peace together. I am quite new to the field of peacebuilding. But the small things we do together always have some deep impact. My book launched in June 2018 has been received well and used by others to build peace. That peace is possible if we build it together is the core message of the book.

 

Fr. J.M. Joseph Jeyaseelan, CMF

Superior – Claret Neyaham (VAROD)

Vavuniya, Sri Lanka

jmjjeyaseelancmf@gmail.com

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